May 21, the State Department’s Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Scott Nathan met Ivoirian entrepreneurs for a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Embassy. During a brief visit to Abidjan, Nathan met local officials in the public and private sectors to discuss entrepreneurship in Côte d’Ivoire and promote the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi. The Summit will take place from July 24 to July 26 during President Obama’s visit to Kenya. The key goals of the GES are to facilitate the exchange of views and ideas between global business leaders and entrepreneurs; train entrepreneurs, especially women and youth; and to strengthen networking and alliances among entrepreneurs around the world.
The roundtable discussion covered a variety of factors inhibiting entrepreneurship such as tax policy, lack of financing, and problems in the educational system. Nathan also raised questions concerning intellectual property rights and risk avoidance. The Ivoirians stressed the importance of microfinance projects.
Scott Nathan joined the State Department after nearly 20 years working in the investment industry. Outside of his professional career, he was a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. He has also had extensive involvement in with non-profit and educational organizations and is passionate about environmental issues and energy policy. He is a graduate of Harvard College and also holds a J.D. and an MBA from Harvard University.